Gut Check: The Microbiome Game

botulismcard

One of the many microbes in Gut Check

“Gut Check: The Microbiome Game” is a game for 2-4 players that aims to strike a balance between learning some microbiology and having fun doing so!

Treat your friends with antibiotics then give them a fungal infection.   Got antibiotic-resistant pathogens in your gut?  Time for a fecal transplant!

The game is designed to be played in 20-60 minutes depending on number of players and experience with the game.

The game is very much still in “beta” development but if you’d like to print out the game and give it a shot here are the most recent files (as of 5-14-14).  We recommend printing onto cardstock if possible.  Please give us feedback!

Rules (PDF)

Cards (PDF)

Player sheets and board (PDF)

Gut Check: The Microbiome Game is produced by David Coil (@davidacoil) with the help and extensive playtesting of the Eisen Lab.  The card design is by Russell Neches (@ryneches) and more details can be found on our (out of date) GitHub page.

8 Responses to Gut Check: The Microbiome Game

  1. Jonathan and David,
    We are planning on playing this at ASMCUE — we’ll have pictures, feedback, and maybe turn it into a drinking game.
    Cheers,
    Andrea Rediske

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  2. abatorsky says:

    I played this game today with two people from my microbiome lab and one person from my new lab (renal pathology). I think the game flows nicely and there aren’t any hiccups. We all finished the game in a relatively similar situation, so the game was definitely well balanced. The comments my co-worker have are that there should be cards so that whenever a food card is played it affects everyone (I loved the lasagna – mmm, lasagna) so there is a bit more strategy (or is this how it’s supposed to be played? maybe we misinterpreted). She also recommends there be a more of a “thrill factor.”
    Anyway, I found out about your game because I am the social media coordinator for HiveBio in Seattle. I love your game! Nice work!
    ~Anna (abatorsk@gmail.com)

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  3. davidcoil says:

    Thanks for the comments! I’ve been trying to work on the “thrill factor”, though I’m trying to balance that against keeping true to the biology. It’s been suggested that I replace some of the more “boring” pathogens with STDs to get people’s attention.

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  4. Grant says:

    I played this at ASM2014 in Boston with some of your labmates–whose enthusiasm was contagious. It was enjoyable and didn’t take too long to learn. Perhaps a few more spontaneous event cards would be beneficial (a plague that hits everyone!). I agree that the more ‘social’ pathogens would catch people’s attention. The plasmids didn’t seem to make much of a difference in our game perhaps placing a larger emphasis/role for that aspect might be good. Of course, having only played once my experiences are limited. I enjoyed it though and hope the best for it!

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  5. davidcoil says:

    Thanks for the feedback Grant, glad to hear you enjoyed playing at ASM2014. I was bummed I couldn’t make it. Plasmids have been an interested part of the development… I feel like they’re essential for the pedagogy but not very exciting for the game itself.

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  6. Pingback: TWiV 289: Vinny and the capsids

  7. Helen Cook says:

    Hi, this looks like a fun game, and potentially a great teaching aid. I’d like to get decks printed by a professional printer, and they request that each card be on its own page. Any chance you could generate a version of the pdf this way?

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